Any fans of the Europa Universalis franchise? I’m a late-comer and just got EU4 last week. Currently, I’m slogging through learning the interface. It doesn’t feel as intuitive as earlier incarnations did. The sheer DEPTH of this game, however, is both daunting and impressive.
I’ve played a lot of it. That being said, from experience most of the expansions are wildly overpriced garbage. Be careful about what you buy there.
The depth is indeed incredible and you often have many options for how to expand if you want to go that route. Just wait until you get the achievement bug and start playing iron man!
I just got vanilla at this point. Like you, I’m skeptical of many expansions. They really need to add value for me to consider them.
Currently, for my first campaign, I’m attempting an Irish unification campaign with Leinster. It has been a humbling experience to say the least thus far. Got taken out completely by the English in under two years. I restarted and am still alive six years in.
What countries do you like to play and why?
For a first campaign, I would recommend England. The simple reason is that, while you may get wrecked in France in the early game, it’s not the end of the world. It happened historically and England went on to become a Great Power. You start out pretty strong but not all-powerful, and it’s still easy to keep anybody from seriously threatening. You can have a larger navy than anybody so you’re pretty safe at home.
Alternatively, Ayutthaya starts off relatively strong and has a good mission tree. Or playing a Japanese Daimyo can be a bit more exciting but still fun. Daimyo are mostly 1-2 provinces but the AI can be pretty aggressive there.
I’ve played a fair number of games. I like playing Castile/Spain and going crazy with colonization, but the way the game is structured makes it hard to keep control of colonies unless you expand a great deal. Spain is in a fantastic position in the early game but I almost inevitably need to go to war against France very early, which can be frustrating. AI France and Ottomans are powerful for players, but have a legendary ability to wreck people’s games. And Austria almost completely inverts the usual game structure by having war be a support for diplomacy rather than diplomacy a tool for war.